Title: Sammie and Me
Summary: It's the first Thanksgiving since Mulder and Scully were teamed together. She is eager to get together with her family, but Mulder only sees it as a remembrance of how long Samantha has been gone.
Author's Notes: Live for the present...or live for the past.
This Thanksgiving was destined to be very special for Agent Dana Scully. She had been a field agent for three months so she had lots of stories to share with her family. Maybe now they would fully accept her as an FBI field agent.
She wondered what her partner was doing today. He said that he was going to be with his family but she knew that the fact that today was November 27th would be extremely hard for him - marking another year without his beloved sister. How did he cope, she wondered. At least he would have the company of his family on this day. She said a short prayer for him as she was getting ready.
"You bought the greetings. Now where did you put them?" Scully mumbled to herself as she searched around the apartment for the cards she bought especially for this occasion. She had giggled to herself as she picked out the humorous card for her brother He could be a jerk sometimes but the holidays were for family - and she did love him.
After a long search, she realized that she had left them in her briefcase at the office. She would swing up there and pick them up. She could still be at her Mom's by 1:00.
OFFICE OF SPECIAL AGENT FOX MULDER
As she approached the X-Files basement office, she noticed the door was ajar, although the room was dark. Mulder always complained that other agents would try to get into his office - to harass him - so he was very insistent on never leaving the door unlocked.
Scully pulled out her weapon. She slowly pushed the door open. Mulder was nowhere to be found but what she did find shocked her. Playing on his computer screen was a video of Samantha Mulder playing in a swimming pool. Scully stood there for several moments in shock. Is this how her partner was spending this holiday - trying to relive old memories. It seemed a bit sad to her.
"What are you doing here, Scully?" She was startled by his presence at the doorway, holding a sandwich and drink.
"I forgot something in my briefcase that I needed." She couldn't hide her interest in the video she was watching as she held up the greeting cards.
"I could have brought them to you." He moved over to stand near his desk.
"I thought you were spending the holiday with your family," she sounded perplexed. She didn't know what to say. He could tell she was uncomfortable. "I'm sorry, Mulder. I didn't mean to invade your privacy. But what I see here saddens me. You felt you had to lie to me about how you were spending your Thanksgiving. I can only assume that you wanted me to butt out of your personal life. I like you as a friend, Mulder. I asked you to my family dinner because I thought you might like a good meal," she said, "considering all the fast food you inhale," looking at his sandwich.
"I am spending the holiday with my family - Sammie. She is all the family that I want on this day. Sharing these memories makes the day a little brighter."
"I understand that you miss Samantha very much and maybe watching this video may be how you cope but you don't have to feel you have to come to the basement office - shut off from the world - to..."
"Stop!" He saw her jump at the sound of his voice. "You don't know what I go through on a daily basis. Most of the time my parents want nothing to do with me. The only friends I have are the Lone Gunmen - who are not exactly character models. It's a lonely, lonely life but I am not complaining mind you. I am more than willing to suffer in silence. I watch these videos so that I can reassure myself that Sammie had a happy life before I destroyed it..."
Scully touched his arm lightly. "I can't imagine the pain and suffering you endure. It must be overwhelming at times. But I want you to know that I consider you a *good* friend. I want you to feel that you can talk to me about things. Just like I do with you."
"You don't really want to get involved in my morose life. Don't get me wrong. I enjoy working with me. You are very professional - and have been nicer to me than I probably deserve. But these memories of Sammie are the only way I can hold it all together." He sat down quietly. "Go, Scully! Please! Go spend time with your family. Go create happy memories. I will be fine." He looked at her with the saddest look she had ever seen. She was not convinced for a moment. He turned toward the computer screen. "Sammie will keep me company."
Scully just stood there frozen - not sure what to do. Finally, she walked over and flipped on the overhead light. Then she hit the off button on the monitor and extended her hand to Mulder. "Please come with me. I want you to spend Thanksgiving with *my* family. I want you to spend the *day* with me."
"I can't....It wouldn't be right." He made no attempt to take her hand.
Scully bent down and put her hands on his cheeks. "Please come with me. Just eat and then we can leave. I promise you will not regret it. Afterwards, I will drive you back here and you can finish the day in the company of your sister. I will even stay, if you like."
Mulder slowly got to his feet. "You are very persuasive, Agent Scully, but I guarantee by the end of the day that you will be sorry!"
"Never! Consider it your Thanksgiving present to me."
"Okay. I'll go."
"You can entertain me with Samantha stories on the way." Mulder smiled. Maybe he could really consider Scully a friend.
HOUSE OF MAGGIE SCULLY
Maggie opened the door before Scully could knock. "Dana, we were starting to get worried."
"Mom, I want you to meet my partner Fox Mulder."
Mulder extended his hand. "Nice to meet you, Mrs. Scully."
Maggie grabbed Mulder and hugged him tightly. Scully could see that Mulder did not put his arms around her mother. In fact, he seemed very uncomfortable. Maggie never noticed.
"Please call me Maggie. Come on in."
"Thank you for having me on such short notice. Dana was insistent."
"I'm glad she was. No one should have to spend this holiday alone. Dinner at 3." Mulder smiled a bit, hoping that this day might be better than he imagined.
Scully hadn't seen Mulder for the past half hour or so. She was concerned that he might have fled. She finally found him on the back porch swing. "Mulder, are you okay?"
"Yes. Fine. I don't know how to act around...your family is nice."
"Mulder! You don't have to *act* around us. Just be yourself and everyone will love you."
He took a deep breath. "There is something that you don't know about me. I guess I should have told you earlier."
Scully sat down and put her hand on his leg. "What is it?"
"I...haven't....been to anyone's house since I was twelve. I can't remember everything you are supposed to do to fit in. The fact that I might mess up frightens me."
"What are you saying, Mulder?"
"My father and mother used to test me. If I didn't pass, it would result in a bad beating. I kept trying to anticipate their next move to avoid the punishment. It was exhausting but I didn't have to worry as much."
"Mulder, I...that sounds terrible."
"Now your Mother is doing the same thing. She hugged me - but I didn't respond like I was supposed to. I know that the next time she engages me, I better be ready - or..." He slapped him on the leg to represent a spanking. "The problem is that I don't know her well enough to be ready. I am afraid to have a conversation with anyone. I don't want to...I can't allow anyone....I won't be punished when it is not my fault!"
Maggie popped her head out the back door. This caused Mulder to tense up. "Dinner in ten minutes, children. Wash up!"
"We will be there, Mom." Scully turned back to Mulder. "I want you to remember this. What your parents did was wrong. No one here is going to lay a hand on you, if I have any say in the matter."
"You promise?" Mulder breathed a sigh of relief.
"Absolutely. We are partners, aren't we?"
"Yes. ma'am. I am starting to get hungry."
"Great. Cafe Scully, it is!" She squeezed his hand as they walked back into the house.